Four People to Ask for a Reference

by Sara Vazquez Shaw

Most older students know the anxiety that comes with asking for letters of recommendation. Some teachers are bombarded with recommendation requests, so a reference may take weeks or months to receive. Aside from tight submission deadlines, getting a personalised and highly favourable reference can also be a concern. However, even if you're in a bind, there may be some options as to who to ask. Here are a few ideas:

1. Student Instructors

Although you may have your heart set on getting a reference from a renowned professor, other students could have already beaten you to the punch. Wait times for such a recommendation may be extremely long. In addition, you may not get the type of personalisation that you want. A student instructor or TA, on the other hand, may know you a lot better. Recommendations from people who know you well are preferable to generic letters that could refer to anyone.

2. Extracurricular Activity Leaders

Maybe you're involved in the scouts or army cadets. If you've spent time doing after-school activities, mentors and volunteers who run the activities could supply you with an excellent reference letter. Although these individuals cannot speak about your academic performance, they have likely spent a significant amount of time with you and therefore can attest to your character.

3. Internship or Job Supervisors

Work ethic is important in both job and school environments. Your former or current boss can give a reference that describes you in a positive light. A boss will know whether or not you are punctual, committed, focused, and courteous.